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Thursday, September 21, 2023

Young Africans open up league campaign with comeback victory

The Tanzania Mainland Premier League opened up its 2022-23 season this week and Tuesday saw defending champions Young Africans SC start their title defense against Polisi Tanzania. It was not easy going for Yanga on the road but after going down in the first half it was last season’s leading scorer Fiston Mayele who drew his team back level. A late winner from Bakari Mwamnyeto was set up by new signing Bernard Morrison to give Yanga all three points on the day.

It appeared Yanga would roll to a comfortable lead when a penalty kick was awarded to the visitors inside ten minutes but Mayele was brilliantly denied from the spot by the Polisi goalkeeper. Later in the half the hosts took advantage of their positive momentum and a quick break led to a 35th minute cross that saw Mwamnyeto’s clearance attempt take a fortuitous bounce off of Salum Kipemba and in past goalkeeper Djigui Diarra.

Yanga would not let their opponents go into halftime with the lead, however, and it was Mayele who atoned for his earlier miss to level the score in the 42nd minute. Djuma Shabani’s shot attempt from a direct free kick took a sharp deflection towards the far post and Mayele finished off the ensuing scramble in front of the Polisi goal to fire in.

Mayele appeared to be the one to provide the winner in the 85th minute but his shot went off the crossbar and led to a corner kick. Morrison’s initial poor corner kick service saw the ball come back around to him and his second attempt at a ball into the box was perfect as it found Mwamnyeto at the far post for an easy finish and the winner for Yanga.

Highlights are below.